Man flees officers at high speed, tries to enter Scott AFB, police say

Brandin P. Lawless
Brandin P. Lawless

A Tennessee man was arrested early Sunday after leading Shiloh police on a high-speed chase near Scott Air Force Base.

Brandin P. Lawless, 29, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was arrested after Shiloh police responded at approximately 2:10 a.m. to a disturbance at the MetroLink station, 880 Metro Plaza. Police were told by Metro Link security that it had stopped a man from driving onto the pedestrian crossing to the base.

Police said Lawless’ vehicle was illegally parked on the main lot of the Metro Link. When an officer attempted to make a traffic stop, Lawless sped away. Police said they pursued Lawless, who committed a number of traffic violations during the chase.

Shiloh Detective George Fender said the chase lasted about 10 minutes. Lawless reached speeds in excess of 60 mph during the chase, Fender said.

According to police, Lawless tried to enter the base through the Shiloh gate before he was stopped by base security barriers that had been activated by a member of the base’s security forces. Lawless fled before officers could stop him. The pursuit ended when Lawless drove into a ditch near the base’s Wherry Road gate. Lawless and a passenger in his vehicle were taken into custody. A female passenger was released without being charged.

Lawless has no connection to the area. “He allegedly was visiting a friend of the passenger,” Fender said.

Fender said there was no traffic at the time of the pursuit. He said there are a number of factors police consider when they enter into a pursuit, including weather, traffic flow and whether there is a chance anyone in the public could be harmed.

St. Clair County Assistant State’s Attorney Judy Dalan on Monday charged Lawless with two counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding. Lawless faces between one and three years in prison if convicted of the Class 4 felonies. St. Clair County Judge Jan Fiss set Lawless’ bond at $75,000. He is being held in the St. Clair County Jail.

Don O'Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND